Former Death Row Inmates to Address Catholic High School Students

September 26, 2017
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

WHAT: “Teach-In” on the death penalty
WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Kenrick-Glennon Seminary (5200 Glennon Dr, St. Louis, MO 63119)
WHO: Two death row exonerees and Catholic high school students

ST. LOUIS – Two former death row inmates and a former prosecuting attorney-turned Roman Catholic priest will address Catholic high school students about the morality of the death penalty and the Catholic Church’s teaching on the issue on Thursday, September 28.

Reggie Griffin and Joe Amrine spent 23 and 17 years respectively on death row, but were exonerated for crimes they did not commit. Their experiences demonstrate how the death penalty can have tragic impacts on real people and communities. They will share their experiences with students from Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis at a special “teach-in” event organized by the archdiocese’s Peace & Justice Commission, in conjunction with Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Catholic Mobilizing Network, and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Also addressing the students will be Fr. James Mason, president-rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Fr. Mason graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School and served as a prosecuting attorney in the Twin Cities-area before being ordained to the priesthood in 2001.

The event comes weeks after Missouri Governor Eric Greitens stayed the execution of Marcellus Williams on August 22 and appointed a Board of Inquiry to further evaluate DNA evidence in the case. The Missouri Catholic Conference responded to the stay of execution by saying: “Mr. Williams’ case exposes the inherent problems with capital murder trials. We appreciate the Governor’s willingness to allow further deliberation on the DNA evidence, and are grateful that he stayed the execution.”